Friday, October 21, 2011


Reflections on the 20111018 Encounter in Basilan -

I am reading the statements and hearing the news about the recent clash in Basilan and it hurts me to think that all these political correctness seems to have so quickly overlooked the fact that we have lost good people over there - real people with real families and real friends, with real hopes and dreams and a real potential to realize in our nation.

We can never bring them back nor recoup what promise they once stood for in our behalf but we most certainly must never lose sight of their remembrance.

If we can not honorably accept the hope they have left for us in death, how can we say we have ever really, as citizens of this great and noble Republic, truly valued them in life?

For every soldier's death belongs not to him or her but to "we, the people". It is to us, the people, across all our generations, for whom they now offer their eternal sacrifice before the assembly of the nations before the LORD; to us, the nation he or she served in life; to our nation, to this one, great Filipino nation - who by any other name on earth - remains its true meaning and value in our heart of hearts.

So as regards our fallen soldiers, let's just say it straight and not use euphemisms that only serve to further the hurt.

Let us also inherit their courage as well as their hopes.

(Lt. JD Khe - one of the 19 soldiers who fell last Tuesday - via con Dios.)

For there is no such thing as an accidental clash or a misencounter - every death received, every wound inflicted, every drop of blood shed for the cause of the peace of our one Republic endeavor is real. Indeed, all the love that is everyday shed for God and Country is more real than the money we hold with our hands. For virtue is currency.

Therefore, I respectfully, completely and decisively disagree with the usage of words like "accidental clash" or "misencounter" that serve only to indicate to me that the position we are endorsing is weak. It is weak because its remembrance upon which it must draw its truest and most reliable strength is found lacking.

I am an ardent supporter of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process and so I shall not inflict upon this Office a great disservice by choosing to stay quiet about what I feel needs looking into at this point in time. For I value this Office and all it stands for too much to withhold my loyalty at this decisive juncture of our common mission. I know of how hard this Office works, the sincerity of its people, the vitality and requisite nobility of its mandate, and how difficult the task set by God and our nation before it.

However, we can not as one Republic whole appease criminals - especially war criminals - in times of greatest trouble and in times of deepest calm - either within the ranks of the MILF or the NPA but above all, within our own ranks.

Appeasement of transgressors never serves the purposes of meaningful peace for appeasement is not the forgiveness we seek when we speak about reconciliation.

Most certainly, there can and there should be reconciliation within the nation, among our common peoples - but there can never be reconciliation with War: Those who in their hearts have slept with War and means to repent not of their adultery will always face the Angel of our Remembrance sword first.

I am for peace. But I am for a disciplined observance of it and I realize it will not come cheap.

I realize that this peace will and must involve Justice for all and that this Justice itself demands sacrifice.

For we can never atone for the loss this conflict has inflicted on our people as a whole. Human promise once lost to War is lost forever.

We may only seek to accept the impoverished realities dealt to us by the presence of War in our midst, learn from the depth of our privations, sincerely seek the Peace within ourselves and reconnect with each other as one nation - together this time - under the aegis of Almighty God - through the peace process.

The peace which is our right by honor and blood can never be built on differences nor does it seek to banish the diversity which is our strength.

It is to be built on the steadfastness and potency of those agreements crafted in the spirit of truths about ourselves that ascend higher than the divisions that presently plague our nation, sapping the marrow from our bones, eating up the material as well as spiritual riches of our Country like so much unseen and unwelcome locusts.

Truly, it is not the loss of our soldiers that somehow inclines me to think that the peace process is presently under assault, it is fear of the truth.

The mechanisms of this peace process must first of all involve agreements that limit and control engagements such as these. I have many questions in my mind about last Tuesday's incident in Basilan which is why I am actively seeking to become more informed about it.

But let me tell you this, I will never stand for civilian casualties - AT ALL - the peace process must first and foremost be implemented to protect our non-combatant civilians - Filipinos to the last, especially the very least - the littlest Filipino - and work to establish the norms that seek to treat the common people with the utmost respect as human beings and fellow citizens, brothers and sisters of the Promise, equally engaged in our Republic endeavor without which this peace is worthless.

Both sides when entering into the threshold of the Republic peace from where we must all begin in negotiations must agree to share in the responsibility to protect what we all deem to be worth protecting - the life of our nation - without which this peace is worthless.

When it comes to cases of legitimate military engagements I will never stand for war crimes. But while cases of civilian deaths must proceed through our justice system with the utmost diligence and haste, the losses that our military absorbs while also requiring the application of Justice, must never take precedence over the strategic mission of winning the peace for all Filipinos.

This concession is part and parcel of the sacrifice our national military undertakes to carry upon itself; an essential character of the profession of arms that underlines the value of our military remembrances. And I also expect the same professionalism and determination from the side of the MILF as well as the NPA - especially from their leadership corps.

Verily, we can not seek to merely exhaust ourselves in endless battle without a cause and also claim the dignity of a soul that is rightfully human or the honor of a purpose that is worth all this grief.

We must be just as determined as the spirit of War in our perseverance in the cause of our one Republic peace and as vigilant as War is reckless.

- selah -

My beloved people, let me speak to you for a moment from a place without divisions. Let me speak to you now from a standpoint that care not which camp or faction or side you profess to belong within our one Filipino nation:

We have been harboring what the nations of the world now almost unanimously consider to be the longest running internecine conflict in Asia. If one considers also the extent of the troubles of our Asia, it might perhaps be also right for us to say we have been nurturing in ourselves as a nation, this great and abominable internal division that for the longest time have caused the one Filipino heart to be eclipsed and left wanting in itself; our one Republic skies left as shattered and darkened like the undecipherable confusion that the everyday Filipino is ordinarily subjected unto on top of our daily economic struggles.

These conflicts that divide us reflect the divisions that prevent us from prospering as a nation and these in turn feed into those hidden cycles that spiral down into the void of things that have failed to ascend with the ascent of the truth into the Truth - all that never was - oblivion itself seen from outside of itself.

Indeed, there is a darkness ruling in our midst that is like a tyranny without a tyrant.

I realize I sometimes speak with words that are difficult to grasp - even for myself - (as I might be doing right now) but let me put it this way for us:

Let us please remember, my brothers and sisters of the Promise - for the sake of all we have lost - and strive to validate this truth within each ourselves today, through watchful observance, through unfailing prayer and sincere repentance, that a nation is happy first before becoming materially rich and this happiness will never come by way of the darkness that scatters but by way of the light that gathers.

If not today, when?

Peace, I salute you all.

And so, as we enter the end of another week and the nation pauses to reflect upon the significant happenings of the past week, I sincerely hope to have been of help to each of you.

Let us all have a meaningful and relaxing weekend.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.

The one Code

to our peerless LORD
to the one God
of our Father Abraham,
the one common Creator
of all common creation,
seen and unseen.

To your own sacred remembrances
and the memory of your peace
with God and with each other.

To the overcoming of your War
and the advent of your hope
at the dawn of our new dreaming
as nations together.

To thy own universe within
and to the riches therewith
those treasures that
neither thief nor tyrant
can deprive.

To thy own calling
to serve in the way
of virtue and of peace
and to thy own ascent
upon the one mountain path
whereupon all good things
find their meaning and merit
in the prayer of the heart.

To thy own labors
upon this necessary life
and to the hardships also
that this inhabited earth brings -
May you be satisfied
knowing in your heart
what you truly strive for.

To thy own endeavor of Country
and to the trust of thy own nation
may you embrace with your embracing
these wholes upon wholes
as far and as wide as you could
and with courage
and steadfast persistence
bring all your love
as near as it takes you
to the one Love
that unifies us all
with the one LORD of All.

To our Lord's poor
and to each other
as keeper and as friend -
May we all remain faithful
from always to always
until the final gathering
at the end of days
and the beginning
of all things new.

Prosper the Peace. Prosper the People.